Concession Card eligibility queried

Susanne wants to know whether she is eligible to re-qualify for a Concession Card.


Q. Susanne
Is it possible for my husband and I to regain our Concession Cards after these and the Age Pension were taken away from us in June 2016 when we were part-pensioners?

My husband is nearly 93 and suffers with Alzheimer’s. I am about to turn 77 and have a lot of back problems. I’m a full-time carer receiving a carer’s allowance and I have a Health Care Card.

I read that if our Age Pension stopped prior to January 2017, we can have our Concession Card reinstated. Can you tell me if I am misinformed?

A. Centrelink advises that, as announced in the 2017-18 Federal Budget, the Federal Government restored the Pensioner Concession Card in October 2017 to people who stopped being eligible for a pension payment on 1 January 2017 due to the rebalancing of the assets test change.

Department of Human Services General Manager Hank Jongen says: “As (Susanne) notes, the couple lost eligibility for the Pensioner Concession Card and Age Pension in June 2016 prior to the 1 January 2017 change. They would not have been eligible for the automatic reinstatement of the card.

“If Susanne’s husband is not currently in receipt of any payment from the department, he may be eligible for a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.

“The Commonwealth Seniors Health Card offers cheaper health care and some discounts to people over Age Pension age who are not in receipt of a Centrelink or Department of Veterans’ Affairs payment, and fall under the income test limit.”

More information about the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card can be found here.

YourLifeChoices explains that Pensioner Concession Cards are issued by Centrelink to those receiving an Age Pension, Disability Support Pension or Carer Payment. You may also be eligible for a Pensioner Concession Card if you are over 60 and have been receiving any of the following payments for at least nine months: Newstart Allowance, Sickness Allowance, Widow Allowance, Special Benefit, Partner Allowance.

You may be able to retain your Pensioner Concession Card for up to 12 months if you stop receiving your Centrelink payment due to the commencement of paid employment.

As the holder of a Pensioner Concession Card, you are entitled to reduced-cost medicines under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and various state and territory government concessions, such as reductions on property and water rates, energy bills, motor vehicle registration and public transport. State and territory governments and local councils offer different concessions.


All content on YourLifeChoices website is of a general nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It has been prepared with due care but no guarantees are provided for ongoing accuracy or relevance. Before making a decision based on this information, you should consider its appropriateness in regard to your own circumstances. You should seek professional advice from a Centrelink Financial Information Services officer, financial planner, lawyer or tax agent in relation to any aspects that affect your financial and legal circumstances.

If you have a Centrelink question, please send it to and we’ll do our best to answer it for you. 

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